F-14 Tomcat vs Su-22 Fitter, Gulf of Sidra 1981

On 19 August 1981, USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) captured world attention while operating in the Gulf of Sidra. In response to an unprovoked attack, a flight of F-14 Tomcats from the VF-41 "Black Aces" under the control of an E-2C Hawkeye from the VAW-124 "Bear Aces" intercepted and shot down two Libyan SU-22 "Fitter" fighter aircraft. These were the first recorded air-to-air kills for the Navy since Vietnam, the first ever for the F-14, and was the world's first engagement between variable geometry (swing wing) fighters. This incident demonstrated the deadly effectiveness of the "Hawkeye-Tomcat" team. Various photos and artwork from the web have been included for context. Transcript below: 00:07 102 Going to [garbled] right now, I'll stay in[garbled]scan. 00:11 Bare Ace (Air Intercept Controller) And 102 [garbled] 226 36 00:19 102 Tweny miles for 102. Twenty thousand feet. 00:23 Bare Ace 225 at 33 102. 00:28 Bare Ace And what's your [garbled something about the contact]? 00:31 102 102's got one 214 16 miles out, that's all I've got. 00:35 102 He appears to be turning a little bit left giving us a left aspect. I'm in single target track. 00:42 102 14 miles 21,000. 00:48 Bare Ace 113 say your heading. 00:52 113 113s heading 070 00:58 102 10 miles 00:58 102 102. The bogeys got us on his nose now 8 miles. 01:07 102 We're at altitude, we're twenty thousand feet 6 miles. 01:10 Bare Ace 103, 113 your vector 100. 01:29 Bare Ace 103 state. 01:35 107 Two fitters have shot at my leader. 01:39 102 [garbled]... this is 102, we've been fired on! 01:50 Bare Ace And 102. 01:54 Bare Ace OK copy. 01:55 unknown Did you copy that Bare Ace? 01:56 Bare Ace Negative, what did one of them say? 01:58 102, 107 [garbled]...defensive east. I've got a visual on you. 02:07 unknown Bare Ace, did you just copy 103? 02:09 Bare Ace That's negative. 02:09 unknown Because Ok, they said they've just been fired upon, that's what they transmitted. 02:19 Bare Ace 103 confirm you've been shot at, over. 02:22 unknown relay [garbled]confirm you've been shot at. 02:25 102 amongst interference Affimative.[garbled] shot one of them down. 02:30 unknown relay Did you shoot one of them down? 02:33 102 It was a clean target. 02:38 107 [garbled]Want me shoot my guy down? 02:39 102 That's affirm, shoot him!! Shoot him down! 02:49 Bare Ace 205, 223 vector inbound at this time. 02:53 223 223 inbound 02:57 107 Fox 2 kill from Music. Fox 2 kill. 03:00 102 [name] did you get him? 03:02 107 Yes sir, I did kill him.[garbled several seconds] 03:09 107 Fox 2 kill. His chute is NOT deploying. He's falling free. 03:12 102 OK, roger that. 03:15 Bare Ace 106 Reset CAP 5. 106, 110 reset cap 5. 03:18 107 [garbled]123 DME on the 180. And my state ten two, ten two. 03:31 102 OK I'm nine five. 03:33 Nimitz 102 107, you are clear to defend yourself. 03:35 Bare Ace 102 107, you are clear to defend yourself. Pass from the ship. 03:39 102 And this is 102 107, ah two enemy kills. 03:44 Bare Ace Say again? 03:45 102 Two enemy kills. Two MIG-23s killed. 03:49 unknown relay Two MIG-23s. You copy Bare Ace? 03:52 Bare Ace Roger.[garbled] 03:56 107 Mine was a Fitter, a Fitter. 04:03 Bare Ace 102 107 You copy? That's vector north. 04:45 Bare Ace 107, Bare Ace. 04:48 102 This is 102 go ahead. 04:51 Bare Ace [garbled] Were one or two hit? 04:59 102 102 and 107 are fine. We're both headed north. And there are two... 05:02 Bare Ace Roger that. And confirm you've got two MIG-23 kills? 05:07 102 OK one was a Fitter and they're probably both Fitters. And there are two kills. 05:11 unknown relay Bare Ace you copy? There are two kills, either Fitters or Floggers. Audio source: http://web.archive.org/web/20051216024943/http://www.ussbiddle.org/history/fitter_engagement_audio.html
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